The Benefits of Socialism

As a strong anti-capitalist and supporter of socialist models I am often asked why socialism? Given the current political climate, and hostilities towards the “s” word, there are a lot of misconceptions about Socialism and its many benefits. So, let us examine the benefits of socialism and how society might benefit from a social model.

First it is important to point out that socialism is an economic system, not a political one. So all of the political propaganda is just that, propaganda. There is nothing about Socialism that is unconstitutional, illegal, or in anyways hinders a democracy, in fact, socialism would tend to have more people involved in the democratic process.

  • Capitalism is a system based solely on exploitation whether it be the exploitation of the natural environment or of one another and as such it is ultimately unsustainable and creates an oppressed society under the cultural (or political) tyranny of the elite few and thus has created many of the ills of our society; socialism to the contrary works to eliminate this exploitation.
  • Socialism takes the ownership, responsibility, and benefits of resources and the means of productions out of the hands of the elite few and puts them under the collective hands of the people. Contrary to popular belief, this actually increases the quality of goods produced, etc. After all, are you going to work harder to produce a better product or service to make someone else rich or for your own company of which you have a vested interest? With socialism the workers themselves own the companies, resources, and means of productions so they have a very real connection and vested interest in the well being of said companies, etc.
  • Socialism creates community values. Socialism reinforces the idea that "we are all in this together" instead of each man fending for himself at any cost. This tends to have positive social benefits while equally distributing the work load.
  • Socialism creates an egalitarian society.
  • Socialism allows workers to reap the full benefits of their own efforts and ends the institutionalized robbery of the very workers who are producing the wealth in the first place.
  • Socialism, when done right, raises the standard of living for the entire nation as a whole.
  • Socialism would free workers from wage slavery.
  • Socialism would raise the level of education and health services and make them available for all citizens thereby raising the over all quality of life for the entire nation.
  • Under socialism need would drive production not profit which means those services and goods which were most needed but which yield little profit in the past would now be available including life saving medicines, new technologies, and better food sources.
  • Socialism would end the monopolies and tyrannies of mega-corporations.
  • Socialism would end poverty.
  • Socialism would result in healthier citizens by increasing the access to healthy food, better nutrition, and healthy lifestyle not available or encouraged under a capitalist regime.
  • Socialism creates a sustainable society that can build and flourish both for the current generation as well as those to come, unlike capitalism which is designed to ultimately fail.

True socialism, when done correctly, helps to end political unrest because it gives everyone a chance to participate in the system letting their voices be heard and their needs met in the most efficient and complete way possible. There are of course, many other benefits both minor and major, but at its very core true socialism is about the spirit of community, something that is sorely lacking in America today and the world at large.

Comments

nana58's picture

nana58

The article assumes people will all work diligently toward the common goal if they all have a vested interest, but history has shown the opposite. When people are placed in a collective environment, their individual output actually goes down, due to the thinking that with everyone else working, they each don't have to work as hard. They also realize that no matter how hard they work, their reward is the same as everyone else, so why rise above?

The author absent-mindedly believes giving everyone communal ownership means the collective is in charge of its own destiny. Sometimes that's true, and when it is true, total un-fairness actually results. When it isn't true, someone in charge is profiting in some way from the work of the collective. Socialism is always a sham.

Inevitably there is always some jerk-a-saurus who will manipulate the collective to his own ends, just as the author claims corporations do. And I guess the young author would say that the USSR and old China were not engaged in "true" socialism.

 If it wasn't for those greedy capitalists, we wouldn't have - indoor plumbing, heating and air conditioning, hot water, flush toilets, paved roads, electricity, automobiles, trains, planes, ships - travel and transportation of almost every description, in fact, all the trappings of modern civilization as we know it. Those greedy capitalists stuck their necks out and put everything on the line in pursuit of a dream - how to make things better in order to make a profit - not necessarily to improve life for the sheeple, but that certainly is a by-product of their greed, isn't it? The idiomatic "I can make it/do it better than that, cheaper and faster" is what drives them and has produced everything we have today. How many good ideas have come from a committee? Collectivism is nothing but a large committee. Except for the Military, how much practical use has our government been? Especially the more they try to stick their noses into our everyday lives?

 Socialist societies have created, um, NOTHING!  Their manufacturing, weapons and technology have all been predominately stolen from capitalist economies where creativity and productivity have natural and significant rewards.

1

Ncpd's picture

Ncpd

Do your research on socialist countries. Also talk to people have lived in socialist countries as well as the US, that's the only way to really understand and appreciate socialism

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bfro76's picture

bfro76

I have done this. I studied abroad in the post Soviet Union in multiple countries at great length. People there were interesting. Some preferred the sub standard living, because at least they knew it wasn't going to get much worse. With capitalism they're afraid because the economy can take a turn for the worse at any time, and when I was there it was the beginning of the recession we are in now. As soon as recessions start, naturally people will become afraid and believe that socialism might protect them. The truth is, Socialism is sinister. I would be willing to bet my life that any and every major leader who has ever advocated socialism as a viable means of government benefits from it in some way. No matter what, there is always a wealthy 10 percent, or some sort of elitist body that forms. People who advocate socialism now are just trying to get rich. The problem with Liberals is they believe it, because these people appeal to their feelings and emotions and they want to feel individual and loved and find a way to work less and enjoy more "freedoms". Someone can come along and tell them that renewable energy is perfect and that they should go with that. Than they dump billions of dollars into it only to find out that it kills birds at an alarming rate so it's not ecologically friendly like they thought, or that the technology will not advance as far as they thought, and they just blew 2 billion dollars on it. The opportunity in socialist governments for corruption far outweighs the opportunities in capitalism, because in socialism people are tricked and mired into thinking they have a purpose. In capitalism, you either have a purpose, succeed, and build your life around yourself, or you don't have a purpose, and you become nothing because you have no drive.

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Victoria's picture

Victoria

I have lived under socialism in the former Yugoslavia and now live in the capitalistic Mecca of the United States.  The author has obviously never lived under a socialistic regime. I have opportunities in America that I could not have even dreamed of under socialism.  I recommend that author shut up, stop smoking "Love" weed, and do something beneficial to society instead of speaking on subjects they are not qualified to discuss.

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Anonymous's picture

Anonymous

@Victoria- Instead of blaming "socialism" for a regime that had far more to do with tyranny and repression than it ever had to do with bettering the common good, try actually understanding the core concept instead. Just because you lived under a regime that called itself socialist does not mean that it was, in fact, socialist.

Further, if you really valued the United States, you wouldn't be advocating the right of another to speak, now would you...?

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Anonymous's picture

Anonymous

like

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Victoria, I am glad you feel so anti-patriotic for your homeland due to your newly found greed, but we shall see how long that euphoria lasts when your husband loses his job because he would not go along with the unethical practices of his company and is crushed by the corporate tyranny that is holding the world hostage, when your children die because you do not have insurance and no one thinks they deserve health care or basic human rights, when your parents are murdered by armed forces trying to protect their oil interests which are polluting your air and water. We will see how long your love affair with free reign capitalism lasts when you hold the tiny, lifeless body of your baby in your arms knowing the were killed by incompetence that was rubber stamped by the US government because safety regulations would have cut just a tad too deep into the multi-billion dollar profit margins of the corporate gods. Will you still be worshiping at their alters and paying homage to the almighty dollar when you take your last breath, cancer eating away at your body inch by inch because it was cheaper for a company to dump toxic waste than engage in responsible, sustainable practices and since you did not have adequate health care, it was caught too late to be treated and you spend those last moments freezing in an ally somewhere because you can not afford to live anywhere else. Will your dying words then be “all hail capitalism” ?

Has socialism been implemented properly in other parts of the world? Perhaps not, but that is a fault of that nation, of its particularly leaders, not of the system and the ideal in the first place but I suppose you are too blinded by that imaginary piece of green paper to appreciate the difference but you see, these questions are the realities of capitalism, this is the life that millions of people have been condemned to because of capitalism, and so perhaps it is YOU who should “shut up” instead of “speaking on subjects” that YOU “are not qualified to discuss.”

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Megan's picture

Megan

Can someone provide me with an example of a flourishing socialist country?

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Anonymous's picture

Anonymous

Megan i agree with you. Give us an example of a socialist country that actually follows by the original rules of soicialism. I agree that when socialism is advocated correctly it will be the best economic system to reside under, but i haven't seen nor heard of a socialist economy that has achieved thus.

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susu1997's picture

susu1997

Norway has one of the best educations, the best economies, the best GDPs (gross domestic product), lowest suicidal rates, and overall has one of the bast qualities of life out there.

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susu1997's picture

susu1997

Norway has one of the best educations, the best economies, the best GDPs (gross domestic product), lowest suicidal rates, and overall has one of the bast qualities of life out there.

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pajo's picture

pajo

Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland), which have the most equal distribution of wealth of any countries (and also the happiest citizens)!

Also, Austria, Switzerland, and Canada are mixed socialist countries

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JT's picture

JT

Do you live there??? Probably not ...so in other words, your talking out your ass

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George's picture

George

I live in Sweden and can assure everyone that Sweden is one of the most repressive countries in Europe: There is no freedom of speech, there are severe alcohol laws (you can't even buy a bottle of wine at the airport when leaving the country), simple medications are not available in pharmacies, the health system sucks, sex laws touch the levels of absurdity, people avoid speaking to one another (they avoid even saying good morning), the government closed down psychiatric hospitals and let mental patients out, people have all kinds of addictions (the simplest one being the addiction to a a tobacco product they stuff their mouths with, and which is sold as a food product), food is not easily available, toilets are not clean or absent (in vacation places, toilets are mere shit-holes, worse than ones I saw in Africa), women and feminist issues are more important, according to the government, than actual education. People are afraid to speak, act, criticize, or have fun. It is a most gloomy and repressive society, whence the elevated levels of alcoholism, sex addiction, drug and tobacco addiction, and low levels of education in schools. Once upon a time, Sweden was in good shape. Nowadays, it is a repressive society, so repressive that people are not even allowed to admit it.

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Big John Stud's picture

Big John Stud

This is not true the lies o how Scandinavian Countries are socialist is a lie. They have the most free banking system there is. Why do you think so many rich people have a Sweddish bank account? They are not regulated

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Stephen's picture

Stephen

Canada.

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usa 's picture

usa

there has never been a "Perfect Socialist" oh sure it all sounds good! but when it is put into practice you see that it has no benifits at all! you say the problem is it has not been implemented right, well russia and china have had it for along time at still haven't got it "right" so you say, well then who is going to get it "right" then , nobody! that's who!

 like I said it all sounds good but it never will work! not the way they seem to think it will,

 and therein lies the problem! but those who advocate it don't see the problem! capitalism isn't perfect either! but it is lot better than "perfect socialism" (which by the way is as "perfect" as it is going to get!  and I do not belive that socialism witll ever work!

so go to obama .pelosi,reid and see what they have to offer!

 

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susu1997's picture

susu1997

Russia and China are communist countries, not socialist.

Big difference.

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Semone's picture

Semone

Take that Victoria chick!!

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bill's picture

bill

The pilgrims tried socialism, and they found that lazy farmers started to suckle off of their harder working "brothers". They dumped the concept and survived. Good enough for me.

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Renifer's picture

Renifer

Slackerism wrote: "The pilgrims tried socialism, and they found that lazy farmers started to suckle off of their harder working "brothers"."

No, this is not factual. The Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Jamestown Colony were both privately held companies that had investors from England from the elite rich and the Crown of England. They did not ever have a collective where workers owned the means of production. They had, in fact, the opposite. They had a feudal arrangement of indentured servitude to pay off the debt of their passage and their upkeep. Productivity diminished because they were in fact slaves who were never going to see a shilling of their own labor in wages. They arrived ill prepared for colonization and many in Massachusetts did not survive the first winter. The Jamestown Colony had a supply ship lost, and had to resupply. By the time the resupply ship arrived, Jamestown was a ghost town and had to be started over. Jamestown did not bring enough women with them either. Poor planning, hard conditions, disease and ruthless capitalism all converged in a perfect storm on both colonies. It's amazing that anyone survived either one considering the difficulties and the fact that they had NO days off, not even for Christmas day. Every day was a work day.

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Anonymous's picture

Anonymous

A socialist government might seem like a society of more freedoms, however everything is irrevocably government owned, bringing down pride in ownership and competition, an issue many overlook. Jobs will be irrelevant and rights to freedom will be invaded.

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Anonymous's picture

Anonymous

I guess we learned a little bit about the author from that response. I would be a pessimist too if I favored Socialism. Corporate tyranny? Yeah thats why in capitalism you have the freedom to create a business and be your own boss. Freedom like that used to be glorified in America's past. Yet people are too lazy to put forth that much effort and want to take the free ride on welfare. At least we know now from the Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac fiasco that you cant just ride on the government and own your own house. You dont get what you deserve, you get what you earn.

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Anonymous's picture

Anonymous

 

Niki Fears, although I agree with a lot of things you have posted. I highly disagree with the rudeness you've conveyed to whoever Victoria may be. She is a person with opinions as well and although she may not be on part with everything you've said she deserves more respect than what you've given, as any person with enough educational background to debate politics does deserve (which arguably may very).    Also you've part denied the spirit of what is socialism. Socialism is ran great when the body of it is great and looking for the bettering of man kind. Yet such rude comments don't exhibit anything that suggests you want the bettering of people. As I am saying again, I agree with many of your views. However, I would not anytime soon wish to be in a socialistic government ran by someone as rude as you. Also I would like to state I am qualified to deem what is rude. As I have self conciousness and have felt emotions in all my years of life, therefore experienced first hand what is rude.

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Atom&Yves's picture

Atom&Yves

socialistbenefits.org

"I read "Benefits of Socialism" from cover to cover, without putting it down. In my opinion, this may be the most illuminating book on the topic, ever." Kate Mcillan

"Socialism is tolerance, it is peace. Some turn their backs on peace by shunning socialism. In the name of tolerance and for the sake of peace, we must destroy these people." Hillary Carbon

 

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Adam Smith's picture

Adam Smith

Nice.  To tolerate we must first destroy.  For peace we must first make war.  Tell me one other time in history when this actually worked for the "common good". 

Socialism vs. Capitalism depends entirely on one's worldview.  If you believe in a God who created men with certain "unalienable" rights, you believe that every man, in a capitalist system, has the right to try, buy, sell, and fail as an entrepeneur.  The success is relative, true.  Men deserve the rewards of their work, and they lose incentive when they know people are going to steal it in taxes from every paycheck.  Capitalism works by the "invisible hand".  People work for their own interests, but they unwittingly and inadvertently benefit others as well.  A company benefits every employee by making money for everyone as a whole, and those people benefit others' livelihoods when they spend their money on merchandise from other corporations.

Capitalism is not at fault.  Human greed has failed capitalism.  If anything, America is morally bankrupt.  Socialism cannot build character - economic systems are inert, and must rely on the characters of the people who use them.  But capitalism does work the best - who put a man on the moon first?  Who built the Transcontinental Railroad? Who pioneered the Internet? The mass-produced automobile (for every man! socialism! oh sorry)  The first motorized flight?  The light-bulb?  Who sends financial aid to other countries in need? Without capitalism these achievements would be non-existent.

America needs a return to faith in God - and then we will use our compassion to benefit even more people with our un-restricted capitalism.  Socialism cannot save us, our country, or our money or the poor.  Government does not have that responsibility given to it by the Constitution.  Money does not solve poverty.  Humans must give to each other with their labors.

Socialism - many in this column mention it as an economic system, but you cite Germany, Sweden, etc. as proofs that it works.  These countries have capitalist economies.  Their governments are socialist.  Socialism is indeed a government model.

If you enjoy all those free benefits, and living in a country that taxes 48.3% of your monthly income(Sweden) move there. When your country looks like Greece in a couple decades, give us greedy capitalists a call and maybe we'll help you.  Until then, stop destroying our freedoms and our Constitution.

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Ryan's picture

Ryan

Their are many ways in which socialism is beneficial, but switching to socialism from capitalism just won't do. Socialist ideas should be incorporated with capitalism to improve the lives of the less fortunate but also leave some room for improvement so that there is something to work for. China, Russian and other countries failed at socialism because their rulers were tyrants, morons and in North Koreas case insane. Other countries do succeed because there are moral values and their citizens are not brainwashed zombies, that allow their leaders to step all over them. Before you look at socialism being all bad or capitalism be all good, or vice versa, look at what they both havr to bring to the table.

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susu1997's picture

susu1997

Thank you for your not rude response towards socialism, but I have to disagree as Russia and China were communist and not socialist. 

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susu1997's picture

susu1997

Thank you for your not rude response towards socialism, but I have to disagree as Russia and China were communist and not socialist. 

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susu1997's picture

susu1997

Thank you for your polite response towards socialism but I have to disagree with you. Russia and China were communist, not socialist.

North Korea is not even relevant as it is totalitarian, ruthless form of a dictatorship goverment that is totally not socialist.

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Susu1997's picture

Susu1997

To all those that are ignorant of socialism but comment on it anyway (no offense meant). Russia and China are communist nations, and communist nations generally are against socialist nations. One example of a prime country that is socialist and among the best in the world is Norway. 

If you want to see for yourself, look up their stats against America.

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Ella 's picture

Ella

I am first generation immigrant from Russia.  My family lost everything when the communist government applied socialist values to the economy.  My grand- gradfather lost all his land, horses, and wine yards he has instituted to him from the Tsar for defending his country.  The papers that my family had with his signiture and stamp were burned, and they were told that they could not built a house larger than the one that fits the exact size of their falmily.  I am sick of people in this country talking about Socialism as a blessing from above.  It is great on paper, but when applied in real life it only brings distruction and restrains freedom. 

 

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JT's picture

JT

So much BS stated here.......with socialism the employees own the companies.....ROFLOL.........NOTTA.......you dumbass.......the STATE owns everything....your an idiot just like the clowns from Germany in the 1930's following that numbnuts Hitler.....anybody to beleive this GARBAGE is an idiot

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JC's picture

JC

There are many different levels of socialism, from communism at one end, to countries that engage in redistributive taxation (such as the United States) at the other. The question is whether it's possible for a country to provide a basic safety net of shelter, food, and medical care, for all of its citizens without eliminating the entrepreneurial individual desire to achieve. There is nothing to me that demonstrates immorality in a society more than a country that permits people to go hungry while allowing others to amass enormous fortunes. There is not one single person that ever existed that became wealthy on his or her own. He or she obtained that wealth within an economic system, paid for largely by taxpayer dollars and by the workers themselves. The evil in capitalism is the manner in which it tends to dehumanize workers, who are treated as no more than a commodity, like any other input, whose cost is weighed and measured against the potential profits that can be reaped for the owner/employer. Capitalists always say that without them taking the risk, their would be no jobs. But in reality, what is the risk they are assuming? Most businesses operate as some form of limited liability company, such as a limited liability partnership (LLP), limited liability company (LLC); S corporation or C corporation (Co.; Corp.). If the business goes belly up, these "owners" don't lose their personal assets. They want you to believe they are risking everything by being a business owner when in reality, they are risking very little.

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RW's picture

RW

Say what we will... America doesn't make much of anything, anymore. Entrepreneurs mostly resell Chinese crap. Germany, Sweden, and Japan make the best cars, have the best schools, and provide health care for all citizens. Whatever we're doing, it's not great. Maybe socialism isn't the answer, but neither is defending a system that fails so many of its followers.

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Z's picture

Z

I find it funny how the people advocating socialism harp on the American education system for being sub-par when the public education system in America is one of the most socialistic programs in America. And according to them it's not working...maybe competition via a voucher program will improve the education system. Or we can go with same unions that have been failing.

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